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November 30, 2010

Maine Seafood Stew

With the snow soon to fall, and winter settling in, here’s a recipe which showcases the best of Maine’s offerings from the sea. This Maine Seafood Stew will surprise you will all its delicious and heartwarming flavors.

seafood stewimage: flickr.com

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November 29, 2010

Endive with Herb Cheese and Pea Shoots

A holiday cocktail party is always a good idea! A casual party for drinks and munchies offers the perfect opportunity to invite the new neighbor down the street, or an acquaintance that you know only casually but would like to get to know better. Another fun idea is to ask a couple of good friends to each bring along one or two people who they think you’d enjoy getting to know.

Given that a cocktail party is a rather informal type of gathering, the mechanics of how it works are relatively simple even for a novice host or hostess. You don’t have to worry about having enough of Grandma’s china or fussing about seating arrangements. Guests can move about and mingle, chatting and nipping and nibbling as they go along. What fun!

I always choose recipes that can be prepared ahead of party time with just a minimum of last minute plating or warming up. The host and hostess should have fun, too. Cheers!

Endive with Herb Cheese and Pea Shoots

8 ounces Boursin cheese (purchased or home made – recipe below*)
2 Tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons finely fresh minced chives
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 heads Belgian endive, leaves separated, washed, and dried
4 strips lean bacon, cooked and crumbled fine
1 box pea shoots

endive

Place cheese, herbs, salt and pepper in work bowl of food processor. Use on/off turns until smooth and creamy. Transfer mixture to pastry bag with a plain fluted tip. Squeeze about 1 Tablespoon of cheese at the base of each leaf of endive. Sprinkle with bacon and then top with a few pea shoots, pushing them down gently to make them stick to the cheese.

Yields 24 pieces.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Filling can be made up to 1 week in advance. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Remove from ‘fridge about an hour before filling endive leaves. Once filled, leaves can be covered and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours before serving.

Homemade “Boursin” Cheese

4 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces farmer cheese
4 ounces small curd cottage cheese
2 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 Tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1 Tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor or with a hand mixer, combine cream cheese with farmer cheese, cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. Add garlic and herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a crock or small bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before serving.

Yields  about 1¾ cups.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Cheese may be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

November 28, 2010

Grilled Thai Beef Salad

I learned this dish from a Thai cook named “Mr. Mike,” many years ago. We often ate it as a “family meal” before a long night on the cooking line. Thai beef salad is served family-style on a platter and is a hands-on dish to eat. The correct way to eat this salad is for everyone to take a bibb lettuce leaf and fill it with some of the beef mixture. Then add a tomato wedge, a slice of cucumber, more mint or another squeeze of lime, roll it up and eat it like you would a taco.grilled Thai beef salad 002 image: onceuponafeast.blogspot.com Continue reading “Grilled Thai Beef Salad” »

November 27, 2010

Wines for the Top 10 Tough-To-Buy-For People on Your Holiday List

This comes to us from our friend Natalie MacLean…

Pairing wines with personalities for gift shoppers—there’s an app for that (and a web site).

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November 26, 2010

White Chocolate Pretzel Bark

Next time you’re invited to a friend’s house for dinner, bring a box of this perfectly jolly sweet for a thank-you gift. Or leave bowls of it around the house. When all else fails, just make it some lazy Sunday afternoon and keep the good nibbling to yourself. You don’t have to know how to cook to make this lovely, foolproof confection.
barkimage: etsy.com

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Hot and Tangy Leftover Turkey Sandwiches

Looking for a tasty way to put that leftover turkey to good use? Just love turkey sandwiches? Here’s one you’ll enjoy!

turkey-sandwich

image: delawareonline.com

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November 24, 2010

Spiced Pumpkin Mousse

This gorgeous mousse showcases all the flavors of pumpkin pie in a sophisticated package. But don’t reveal the secret to your guests: It’s actually a snap to prepare.
spiced-pumpkin-mousse

November 23, 2010

Maple Basted and Bacon Barded Turkey with Homemade Gravy

Doesn’t bacon make most things better? I love the smokey edge it gives to the turkey breast while ensuring its moistness. The bird doesn’t get the maple syrup bath until the last hour of cooking, lending a sweet note to the pan drippings and, therefore, the gravy.

turkey

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November 22, 2010

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Looking for an unusual and delicious dish to make for your family’s Thanksgiving feast? Wow them with this creation!

apple-and-cranberry-stuffed-acorn-squash

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November 21, 2010

Herb Roasted Turkey with Rosemary and Sage

Infuse a turkey with delicious flavor by tucking fresh herbs under the skin. Simply loosen the skin from the meat and slip in rosemary, sage, and parsley. As the turkey roasts in the oven, the herbs will give off a fragrant scent and flavor.

turkey

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November 20, 2010

Food Labels: What do they really mean?

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has promised better regulation pertaining to the labeling of food, probably because there seems to be a lot of misleading information that may entice consumers to buy a particular product, thinking that it is healthier than it is.

Get in the habit of reading labels! Yes, there are usually one or two “in your face” type words on the front of the package (think FAT FREE or REDUCED FAT) but don’t forget to check the side or back of the package where you’ll find lots more valuable nutritional info. Here is a brief synopsis of what all the mumbo-jumbo really means to you, the (hopefully informed) consumer.

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November 19, 2010

Sparkling Ginger Cider

Sparkling ginger cider is a first rate fall “mocktail.” Simple, refreshing, and uniquely delicious!

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Sparkling Ginger Cider
foodnetwork.com

Mix 1/2 pound peeled, sliced fresh ginger into 32 ounces of apple cider and chill for about an hour. Pour into glasses filled with ice and top with ginger ale and fresh mint.

To spike this punch, add brandy and top with hard cider instead of ginger ale.

Serves 4.

November 18, 2010

Homemade Chili

Chili, like a stew, is a slow cooked meal where the flavors get better the more they simmer together. The distinguishing flavors of chili come from chili powder which is a combination of dried chili peppers, cumin, garlic, oregano, ground cloves, and pepper.
chili_3image: lukehoney.typepad.com

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November 17, 2010

Maple-Citrus Cranberry Sauce

I love the sweetness of Maine maple syrup and a hint of tangerine to offset the tartness of cranberries. This unique cranberry sauce recipe is one of those “make ahead” components of a holiday meal that all hosts will cherish.

cranberry sauce

image: nourishingmeals.com

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November 16, 2010

Candied Bacon: A Breakfast Treat

Got a house full of picky eaters for the holidays? Rock the house with this simple recipe. It serves four, but multiplies nicely for a crowd. I use foil under the bacon for easy clean up. So simple but definitely has the WOW factor written all over it!

plated-candied-baconimage: cookeatfret.com

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November 15, 2010

Pot Roast, Vegetables, and Beer

This is a great recipe for a quick family meal. Little prep time and makes great gravy for your meat and vegetables.

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November 14, 2010

Penne with Vodka Sauce

A great combo pasta recipe that gives you ease of use along with great flavor. Your family and friends will think you spent all day in the kitchen, when all you had to do for this great vodka sauce is follow the step by step directions.24938_347507309063_12975524063_3740720_315360_nimage: facebook.com

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November 13, 2010

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ginger and Honey

Fresh ginger, cardamom, and sweet potatoes will fill your house with a fall fragrance as well as call your family to the table.sweet-potatoes-4

image: home.howstuffworks.com

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November 12, 2010

Lobster, Chanterelle Mushroom, and Leek Frittata

Frittata are Italian omelets that combine many ingredients: vegetables, herbs, cheeses, seafood, and meats. They differ from American omelets, which are stuffed and folded over to form a half-moon shape. Frittata ingredients are incorporated into the eggs before cooking. When served, the frittata is left round and cut into wedges like a pie. In addition to breakfast, frittata can be sliced as a salad garnish or as a lunch entree.

lobster frittatafood.gather.com

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November 11, 2010

Linda Greenlaw and the Hannah Boden

View an album of photos from the welcome home party for Captain Linda Greenlaw and the crew of the Hannah Boden, as they returned from sword fishing and filming the next season of the Discovery Channel’s show, Swords: Life on the Line.

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NBC interviews Captain Linda Greenlaw at her homecoming event.